Here's a (mostly!) appreciative piece on X Isle from the Irish Times.
'The X Isle Factor...'
ANNA CAREY YOUNG ADULTS : IF REVIEWING books teaches you anything, it’s that you really should never judge a book by its cover – or its blurb.
Steve Augarde’s new book, X Isle (David Fickling Books, £14.99), comes with an ugly cover with a blurb so cheesily melodramatic it should be declaimed by that man with the booming voice who narrates film trailers. The novel itself is much more interesting. Set in a very near future in which catastrophic floods have submerged most of Britain, it’s the story of a boy called Baz, who gets a chance to go to the “island”, a supposedly safe place run by salvagers. But the island turns out to be a harsh place, run by the messianic Preacher John and his cruel family, who force the boys who live there to work like slaves. It’s a gripping and often unsettling tale, and it’s suffused with a sense of genuine loss; amid all the action the characters are still grieving for their families and suburban lives.